How safety and sustainability align

From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column on on why safety and sustainability go hand in hand as important objectives for business — with help from the American Society of Safety Engineers. Thanks, ASSE:

I recently Googled the word “sustainability” and these are the headlines I found: “Global Environmental Change and Sustainability,” “5 Traits Essential for Sustainability Leadership,” and “Top 10 Cities Leading in Urban Sustainability.”

Then I Googled the word “safety” for the same period and a dominant story was “Pittsburgh Steelers Score in 3 Seconds on Titans Opening-Kickoff Safety.”

At 1,765 consecutive days without a lost-time accident at Marlin Steel

We’re now at 1,765 consecutive days without a lost-time accident at Marlin Steel

Safety — that is, preventing injury or worse — isn’t the hip, eco-friendly topic that sustainability has become in recent years. But in workplaces like ours sustainability and safety are both essential and in fact go together: Sustainable practices seek to avoid waste, and the risk of injury is greater in places where mess and waste fester.

Many companies have gotten religion on sustainability. They realize it’s good for their mission, their operation, and of course their public image. Safety might seem an objective less easy to rally around. But I think smart companies grasp its importance and go above and beyond what is required.

David Coble, who runs a safety consultancy in North Carolina and chairs the Manufacturing Practice Specialty Group of the American Society of Safety Engineers, points out that safety and sustainability have gone hand in hand for a long time. The general industry standards of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, he notes, include dozens of references to “housekeeping.” And they were written in 1910, long before the concept of sustainability had the cachet it does now. Continue reading

Manufacturing management 101: Fire poisonous personalities fast

From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column on on management and human resources: 

5She was meticulous, punctual, smart, and thorough, but her venomous comments and abrasive personality poisoned the atmosphere in our factory. My mistake? I hung onto the hope that her good qualities outweighed the bad: I didn’t fire her fast enough. Here are five reasons you should dismiss poisonous personalities as soon as you recognize them: Continue reading

Marlin Steel ranked 230th fastest growing private manufacturer in U.S.

Marlin Steel has been named by Inc. magazine to its annual 500/5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States for the second consecutive year.

“We’re honored again to be ranked as one of the country’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies among the nearly 7 million private companies in America,” said Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel.  “When people think of this list, I’m sure they instinctively think of some of the high-tech and new media companies that are on it, so I am doubly proud to be representing manufacturing.”

Inc 5000Marlin’s 47-percent growth rate during the past three years ranked it 4,608th on Inc.’s fastest-growing list for 2013, according to the magazine. Marlin ranked 230th among private U.S. manufacturing companies. Marlin manufactures precision-engineered material handling baskets from steel wire and sheet metal for clients in industries as diverse as health care, aerospace, automotive and telecommunications.

In 2012, Marlin ranked 4,112th as a result of its 33-percent growth rate during the prior three years. In 2012, it ranked 162nd among manufacturing companies. Continue reading

How to land a sale?

From Drew Greenblatt‘s latest column in Inc. magazine on making a sale:

To say that making a sale is important to business is like saying oxygen is a vital component in breathing. Sales is the crux of business whatever its size and scope — unless perhaps you’re a mammoth social media website with zero revenue and millions in angel investor cash, and even then your day reckoning will come eventually.

My current model is business-to-business, making steel material handling containers for industrial clients. I also worked for several years selling in the business-to-consumer market when I owned a burglar alarm business. What I realized is that whatever the product, making the sale takes six essential steps. Read more …

He was a super worker so we made him a supervisor. Oops.

Inc magazine logoFrom Drew Greenblatt‘s latest column in Inc. magazine on assessing supervisory talent:

The skills that make someone a good worker and that make someone a good supervisor aren’t the same. Line workers produce products; supervisors produce products through people. … Big difference. Read more …

(Thanks to Tom Maze of Polaris Profiles for the assist.)

The Boca Raton problem

incFrom Drew Greenblatt’s latest column in Inc. magazine about three things to watch in shopping for an existing business:

I’ve written frequently in this column about what to look out for when running a small business. What about what to look out for when buying the business in the first place? When we were shopping to buy a company in the mid-1990s, before we found Marlin Steel, three challenges cropped up repeatedly. I’ll get to other two in a minute, but the biggest problem was one I called “the Boca Raton problem.” Read more …

What we make, how we make it